Sunday, March 08, 2009

The evolution of a novel - editor jumps aboard

Now after taking on board the editors requests for The Kult, I read through the manuscript, and keeping everything in mind that the editor required, I did the revisions and submitted the rewritten manuscript on January 11th. I added 15,500 words to it, taking it to 85,500. To be honest, all of the requested changes were excellent, and I felt that they all helped improve the manuscript no end, especially some of the characterisation and the killer’s motivation.

As a different example, my novel Fangtooth that is being published by Ghostwriter Publications later in the year worked in the opposite way. The publisher wanted a shorter novel, so it was edited down to around 61,000 words from over 80k. An editor was assigned to make the cuts, and although they were substantial, I was surprised by how tight it made the prose. I had initially feared that losing a quarter of the story would rip the heart out of it, but in fact, it had the opposite effect, and made it much tighter.

I received the next reply regarding The Kult on January 22nd that basically said, ‘So far from what I've seen I'm very happy with the plot, so there won't be much to do aside from a line edit and some additional descriptions, character movement, etc.’ At this point, I was also asked to submit cover ideas.

I received the manuscript back on February 11th. At this point, another editor (Christina Celentano) had gone over the manuscript, making corrections and comments on the plot and deleting those portions that she felt didn’t work. There probably wasn’t a page where something wasn’t highlighted, so then it was a case of going through it all again and doing some more writing, accepting deletions or commenting why I thought something should stay. I went through it quickly, and returned the manuscript on February 13th.

I was sent it back on February 27th. The editor had gone through it with a fine toothcomb, and there were yet more changes and comments, but they were all helping shape the novel. At this point, they were only minor things, so I went through it quite quickly, and then emailed the manuscript back on February 28th. After the latest edits, the novel now stood at 82,500 words and that’s brought its evolution bang up to date. I am now waiting for the final edit, and then it will be a matter of focusing on the cover and marketing, which I will post updates on as and when they happen.

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